Thursday, April 28, 2011

H is for Hyperspace

If you're new here: This whole A to Z blogging lark was supposed to take place during April. Well, that didn't work for me, so I'm doing it now.

Our subject is using the old SPI wargame Freedom in the Galaxy as the basis for a roleplaying game, using the Chaosium's old Worlds of Wonder boxed set as the basic rules.

What I'm doing with the A to Z is exploring different aspects of this project as I work on them. This is all a work-in-progress, but I'm confident it'll lead to somethign cool.

As always, comments are invited.

Certainly there's no other way to venture from star to star in a proper science fiction setting than hyperspace! (Sure, there's warp drive if you want to do Star Trek, but we're doing Star Wars!)

The basic rule is this: The farther you jump, the more dangerous.

Ships can end up either:

* At their destination (orbit),
* Adrift in the destination system (drift 1), or
* Lost in space, attempting to get their bearings (drift 2).

Which result you get depends on the navigation characteristic of the character involved and the distance (on the map) of the jump.

It seems to me that this would be easy to simulate in BRP.

1) Assign a Navigation skill to the player depending on the characteristic of the character.

2) Assign a difficulty (1-20) based on the distance jumped.

3) Have the character roll on the Resistance table; success indicates a successful jump. Failure results in Drift; catastrophic failure gives Drift 2. (And getting back from a Drift 2 situation could be an adventure in itself! Or not.)

Okay, I just checked my book and find that there isn't a catastrophic failure on a Resistance Table roll. That's okay. I can add one, just for Hyperspace navigation! Take 10% of the value needed; if the roll is failed in that top 10%, it's a Drift 2. If it's a normal failure, it's a Drift 1.

Example: Professor Mareg has a Navigation of 2. For a jump of distance 1, he'd automatically succeed. For a jump of distance 2 or greater, he'd need to roll.

How to make this work?

Okay, the Navigation skill would be a number (like a stat) from 1-20. Let's say 4 times the actual value, so in this case he'd have an 8. (The character with the highest value has a 5, so that would be 20 and still fit neatly on the resistance table.)

That's the active value. How about the resistant?

Let's go with a conversion of 3. So a jump of distance 1 would be 3, 2 would be 6 and so on.

So, Professor Mareg, making a jump of 2 would have a factor of 8 versus a factor of 6, giving him a 60% chance of success. Since there's only a 40% chance of failure, he'd need 4% (or 97-00) to get a drift 2 result. (Unless his navigation equipment was sabotaged...)

I can live with that.

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